King Oddball may be one of the most unique characters in the pantheon of App Store gaming. He’s a king. He’s a moon, maybe. He wants to end the world by swinging rocks with his tongue at tanks, helicopters, and soldiers. However, the King isn’t the only highlight of this game. King Oddball is a great-looking title with tough physics puzzles, as well as a bit of humor.
Each level of King Oddball Ends the World begins the same. The King descends from the sky, plucks a rock out of the air with his tongue, and begins swinging it back and forth like a pendulum. Beneath the King is an assortment of vehicles and structures. To release the King’s rock, simply tap on the screen. You must destroy all enemy soldiers and vehicles with three rocks, but there’s no time limit on the levels, so you can plot out your attack for as long as you’d like. The extra time is especially welcome in the game’s later levels.
To make the most of your three rocks, you need to strategize. You can bounce rocks off enemies, which means you can literally kill two birds with one stone. There are also explosive blocks in some levels, which hurtle your rocks or enemies far across the screen. Most enemies only need one tap to be destroyed, but some enemies are tucked up in a far corner of the level.
I! Wanna rock and roll all ni-i-ight!
You can also perform tricks to unlock achievements or more rocks. For instance, if you’re able to use one rock to destroy three or more enemies, you earn an additional rock. The same happens if you can get the rock to bounce off an obstacle and hit the King. These little tricks can really save you in tough situations.
The King isn’t in this for fun, though. He’s going to end the world, and he means business. King Oddball takes place on a far-reaching world map, broken up into 9 sections. Each section contains tiles with new levels, and you can only approach these tiles when you complete a connecting tile.
Along your way to world domination, you find bonus games or features. Early in the game, you come across a ‘one rock’ challenge in which you must complete each level with only one rock instead of the traditional three.
One interesting addition to the game is the ‘Speak with the King’ feature, hidden in one of the tiles about halfway through the game. Much like Siri, you can actually speak with the King and ask him questions. Apparently, there are secrets the King is hiding, and only by asking the right question can you uncover them. For us, this feature yielded absolutely no results. Almost every question was met with an answer of ‘I don’t know what that means,’ but true treasure seekers might be more patient to uncover the truth.
Visit sunny Florida for front-row seats to the Apocalypse
The art style of King Oddball could easily go unnoticed, but it really works wonders. The game has a plain, cartoon-style look, with characters and vehicles like something out of a bored high school student’s notebook. The backgrounds are especially wonderful. Their colors and slight shading provide a simple backdrop to the game, but on a larger screen, the colors really pop.
Our only complaint with the game is its lack of variety. The additional game options hidden throughout the world map offer some new elements, but there isn’t much variety in the levels themselves. At some point, we expected to see new enemy types or a new type of throwable rock, but it never happened. Nevertheless, King Oddball is entertaining. It may be frustrating at times, but using one rock to destroy three tanks and a helicopter is definitely worth it.